Easy Peasy Chicken Stock & Chicken Alfredo
Simply delicious time saver
I have shared similar recipes on my Hub page. I do want to let you know that Jim and I don't eat like this every night, just the rare occasion when I am feeling particularly creative with a food bent.
I am not a big fan of meal planning. Yes, you read that right. Unless Jim or I have a craving for something specific (cole slaw is a good example, because I never buy cabbage), I rarely plan meals. When I shop I go for basics and the pantry is pretty well stocked with tasty and necessary staples. So, when I get ready to cook, if I am missing an ingredient that can not be substituted, there is no problem switching up and cooking something else. An added bonus is to pull a wonderfully savory stock out of the freezer made with your own loving hands rather than relying on store bought.
The recipe, in this case, is incidental. I wanted to pass on a few tips I have learned, especially when using uncooked chicken in a casserole. Of course, you need to cook the chicken before assembling your dish! I have found a very useful way to do this and it lends itself well to preparing meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, pull out at an appropriate time (when you are pressed for time, perhaps), and amaze your family with you mad cooking skills!
The plus side in all of this, aside from present and future meals, is that it's incredibly easy - doesn't take a lot of watching over - and oh, so flavorful.
Ingredients for Broth, Sauce & Alfredo
- 2 quarts water
- 1 pound chicken parts, with skin and bones (I use dark meat for this)
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, Other herbs of choice like rosemary, sage ...
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4 medium carrots, and whatever other veg you want to for flavor (celery, for example)
- salt & pepper
- Easy Alfredo Sauce:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 - 8 oz package cream cheese
- 2 cups milk, I use powdered milk prepared to package directions plus 1 tablespoon for richness
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, to taste
- Chicken Alfredo Ingredients:
- 16 ounces pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed (from making your broth)
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small can artichoke hearts, sliced in half or quarters (optional)
- 1 small can black olives, left whole or sliced in half (optional)
- For Broth: Place chicken, veg & herbs in cold water on high heat.
- When water comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Let pot cool to room temperature before removing skin and meat from chicken.
- Discard herbs and remove chicken and veg from broth - (There should not be a lot of fat, but you may skim some off - not all, because it gives flavor.)
- ***SAVE THE BROTH!***
- You can use the broth to cook rice, pasta or potatoes or store it in the freezer and use as an excellent soup base.
- Easy Alfredo Sauce: Melt butter in saucepan.
- Add cream cheese and garlic powder and whisk until smooth.
- Add milk a bit at a time to thin sauce. Whisk to smooth.
- Add Parmesan and pepper and remove from heat.
- Chicken Alfredo: Saute mushrooms until slightly golden about 3 to 4 minutes.
- In a large bowl add cooked pasta, chicken, mushrooms, artichokes and olives.
- Add Alfredo sauce and mix well.
- Top with 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese and ½ teaspoon of paprika.
- Place mixture In a lightly greased casserole. and place in 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbly.